Recently, we posted about President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, “Path out of the Pandemic” (the Memo). To recap: the Memo instructs OSHA to develop and issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to require all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated against COVID-19 or to require them to submit to weekly testing before coming to work.
The Memo also states that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are taking steps to require vaccinations for workers in healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. An executive order issued with the Memo requires vaccination for all federal employees (with no alternative option for testing), as well as employees of certain federal contractors that do business with the federal government.
Does this mean state-government employees, employees working at companies with less than 100 employees, and healthcare providers that do not receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement are not covered by any vaccine mandates or testing requirements? Not necessarily. In a prior post, we summarized the COVID-19 liability-shield laws in the 19 states that have passed them.
Here, we briefly summarize the 17 states that have issued executive orders or otherwise enacted similar vaccination/testing requirements as the Memo at the state-level. For simplicity, we have summarized these state-level requirements in a chart. Because this area of the law is rapidly changing and evolving, we recommend employers stay abreast of all state and local requirements for both public and private employers. Some go beyond those requirements included in President Biden’s Memo.